Monday, May 11, 2009

I Didn't Know the NKJV was a "A Deadly Translation"

I preach from the New King James Version (NKJV). The reason for this is that most people within our church family use either the King James Version (KJV) or the New International Version (NIV). I have found the NKJV to be understandable by those using the other translations.

I am not an NKJV-only guy (I'm not sure if there are any), but I do like the translation. I believe it is good as far as English translations go. There are other good ones such as the KJV, the ESV, the NASB, and the HCSB, but I'm sticking with the NKJV because I think it best meets the needs of those within this congregation.

That said, I did not realize until today that the NKJV is "a deadly translation." I stumbled upon a website that actually claims this. As you might expect, this is a website run by someone from the KJV-only crowd.

This KJV-only website begins by saying, "(The NKJV) is a deadly version because it's editors have succeeded in deceiving the body of Christ on two main points: (1) That it's a King James Bible (which is a lie), and (2) that it's based on the Textus Receptus (which is only a partial truth). The following information should be helpful when dealing with Christians who have been swindled by the Laodicean lovers of filthy lucre."

The site makes the following claims, among others:

"There's nothing 'new' about the NKJV logo. It is a '666' symbol of the pagan trinity which was used in the ancient Egyptian mysteries."

"It is estimated that the NKJV makes over 100,000 translation changes, which comes to over eighty changes per page and about three changes per verse! A great number of these changes bring the NKJV in line with the readings of such Alexandrian perversions as the NIV and the RSV."

"Since the NKJV has 'changed the truth of God into a lie,' it has also changed Romans 1:25 to read 'exchanged the truth of God for the lie.' This reading matches the readings of the new perversions, so how say ye it's a King James Bible?"

When I read stuff like this, all I can do is sigh. I'm not convinced my NKJV bible is "deadly." I'll keep using it until I am convinced by some actual scholarship.


Joe Blackmon said...

Hey Eric

I thought I remembered reading one time that you were a CT fan not an MT/TR fan. Could you explain why you use the NKJV rather than the NASB or ESV? I'm just curious.

Eric said...


When I study for preaching and teaching, I look at both original Greek texts (I'm no Greek expert). I also look at the NKJV, KJV, NASB, ESV, and Young's Literal Translation. It helps me a lot to look at all these sources.

I decided to use the NKJV to preach and teach because the folks in our pews generally use either the KJV or the NIV. I find the NKJV to be understandable to both groups.

My personal choice would be the ESV, but because of the church I am in, I think the NKJV is the best choice.

That's a long way of saying that I use the NKJV not because of the Greek source, but because it is what will best serve the folks in our church.